Tanning my hide

Beekissed

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Farm, we rewashed the calf hide today and it did a great job of reconstituting the flesh into a soft, less tight covering. Will start all over on the fleshing tomorrow.

I can't wait to have this one done, as it's so very soft and pretty. I'll post a pic of the finished product when it is complete.
 

Dairyman88

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I have done several just using Hydrated Lime 1/2 gallon I used a milk container. dumped it in 30 gallons of water in a plastic trash can soak until the hair slips Optimum temp outside is 70 degrees but with a cooler temp above freezing with more time it will work 2 - 3 days just go and pull on the hair (handfull) to test when it slips easy then remove the hide and wash it off with a hose. then use a blunt piece of steel to scrape the Hide and any remaining fat or flesh off ( get as much as you can when you skin the hide from the animal) When you get all the hair off wash it real good with baby shampoo and return into some fresh water about 5 or 6 gallons dump in 2 boxes of baking soda to neutralize the lime and soak for a couple of days. Then Pull it out and stretch and staple it on a piece of Plywood or the side of the wood shed to dry. Pull it real tight. When it is dry you have Rawhide and it will keep for years. you can make many projects with the Rawhide. When you are ready to make leather lay a damp towel on the dry hide and roll it up together until it is pliable again. then warm up some neatsfoot oil by putting the bottle in a sauce pan of hot water. Rub the neatsfoot oil into the hide. Then the Real work starts>>>> Find a 2X4 4X4 Or 6x6 with sharp edges and stretch and pull and work the hide over the edges. Rub the Neatfoot oil in periodically until you have leather. I made a bunch in 1992 and I still use it and I still have raw hide from 1992 that I can make leather from at any time
 

Farmfresh

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Very interesting Dairyman! I have never tanned for leather just yet, but I realized the process was some different. My sheep were tanned wool on.

By the way ... Welcome to Sufficient Self! :frow

Are you a commercial dairyman? Do you milk cows or goats?
 

Beekissed

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Got my tanning supplies in the mail and now can proceed with the hide, but may wait until it's not quite so frigid around here......brrrrrrrr! The hide is currently salted and in the freezer awaiting the next step of the process.
 

justusnak

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Oh Bee, make sure to get plenty detailed pics! I cant waite to see that beautifull hide!!
 

valmom

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I've been keeping up reading this thread, too, patiently waiting for pictures! I want to know how it comes out, too. :D
 

gd6

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Hi everybody! I was hoping to get some recommendations on a pelt I'm getting ready to tan. I have a cougar pelt that I skinned earlier this year, it was shot by a friend when it was attacking his livestock. I skinned it, fleshed it very well, and salted it really well. Its been stored in very dry conditions but I now have some time to finish the process. This is my first time doing this, but made sure to do my best not to screw anything up as its such a special pelt.

So I'm not sure what way to tan this pelt. I really wanted to do it a natural method, and I have sufficient brains in my freezer, but also have some other raw materials such as citric acid, borax, baking soda, etc...

It seems like if I decide to brain tan it I'm not going to be using the citric acid and baking soda...but if I decide to pickle it then neutralize the pickle, it seems that I need to buy some kind of tanning oil and I wouldn't use the brains. Also, when is the best time to stretch the pelt? I'm just a little confused about which method to follow. Any input would be appreciated.
 

pioneergirl

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Well, I guess it depends on which method would be easier for you. I've never tanned anything before, but I've read that you can also smoke them, which gives them that nice honey color and seems to preserve them longer. Seems to be a less messy alternative.
 

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